Water pricing

Water Pricing The more water you use, the more you should pay for it, says Nestle’s Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Bloomberg News reported. Brabeck-Letmathe spoke at a Nestle corporate sustainability meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday. “For rare resources, the economy of scale is the biggest mistake you can have,” he asserted, referring to the common practice […]

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The largest city in California’s San Joaquin Valley is transforming its water system, at a significant cost.

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Water scarcity and successful conservation programs force utilities to adapt their business plans.

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Chasing the Wind The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked itself a difficult question – What is the value of water to the American economy? – and came up with a broad answer. Water is obviously valuable, but because reliable data on price, quantity, and use is often not kept, water’s “total contribution to the U.S. […]

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“Five hundred times higher than safe levels is not protective of public health,” said Avinash Kar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, in review of a proposal for a drinking water standard in California, Los Angeles Times reported. The carcinogen hexavalent chromium standard, which will be the first of its kind in the […]

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Utilities tinker with rate structures designed to stabilize revenue.

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The American Society of Civil Engineers says that more money needs to be spent on infrastructure.

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The exurbs of Minnesota’s Twin Cities are the latest examples of the boom and bust cycle.

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A theme of food and water waste reduction, especially in agriculture, characterizes a large number of speeches and events as World Water Week in Stockholm continues, according to Environmental News Service. Hurricane Isaac is not on track to hydrate drought-stricken areas in the Midwest, contrary to many farmers’ hopes. Instead, it may saturate and ruin […]

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Regulatory measures The Clean Water Act has largely fallen short in the Pacific Northwest and much of the nation, according to a new investigation by EarthFix and InvestigateWest. A pump replacement program in Islamabad will augment the city’s water supply and save enough electricity to power 4,500 Pakistani households, Bloomberg reported. Some restaurant owners in Vienna are […]

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China will introduce a new water pricing mechanism by 2015, the Xinhua news agency reported. According to the new plan, water rates will rise exponentially as water consumption increases. Peruvian president Ollanta Humala said on Saturday that the Newmont Mining Corporation would guarantee ample water supplies for towns near its proposed Conga gold mine, Reuters […]

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Negotiations The Guardian received a leaked copy of the draft negotiating text for the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development. Only about 20 percent of the document’s language has been settled, and critics of the process fear a weak agreement or even no agreement could be reached. Water is part of the draft text, but […]

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A revised management plan—with no change to surface water limits, but an even stricter cap on groundwater withdrawals—for Australia’s Murray-Darling river basin has infuriated many groups, especially farmers. The head of the New South Wales irrigators council called for revisions, lest “social and economic Armageddon” come to farm communities. Victoria’s water minister labeled the plan […]

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Map: 2012 Water Prices in 30 Major U.S. Cities

The price that Americans pay for water is rising faster than the cost of any other utility service in the United States — be it gas, electricity, or telephone charges.

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The price of water can be influenced by the supply sources and systems, in addition to the number of users who are sharing these water resources and the burden to pay for the supply system’s maintenance.

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Which cities have the highest rates? And why?

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The Price of Water 2012

Rates have increased in many cities, but local conditions dictate by how much and how the increase is distributed. Chicago prices are up nearly 25 percent, while Los Angeles is down by 9 percent.

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Under a new law, mining and oil companies in Peru will be required to hold talks with local communities about the effects of natural resource extraction on the environment and water supplies, Reuters reported. The law stops short of giving communities the power to veto potential projects. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez faces criticism from within […]

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Hundreds of billions of dollars are needed for renovation and improvement. But what projects will be chosen, and who will pay?

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Shiprock, New Mexico: The Navajo Nation — which spans a 70,000-square-kilometer stretch of mesa, sand, and canyons in parts of New Mexico, Utah, and northern Arizona — is the largest and, arguably, the driest American Indian reservation in the United States.

The largest reservation in the U.S. has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates — more than 40 percent — and very little water infrastructure. Many residents pay nearly 50 times the municipal cost for water, which instead is delivered from a tank in the back of a truck, often resulting in water-borne intestinal illnesses.

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